This morning, I lit a Yahrzeit Candle in memory of my father, Alexander I. Newman. 35 years ago on March 30, 1977 my father passed away from coronary heart disease that he dealt with for over 20 years. He was 4 weeks short of his 74th birthday. At the time, I was a 32 year woman, daughter, wife and mother of 2 young sons.
I still remember a disturbing visual…the Rock of Gibraltar sinking in to the Mediteranean Sea when I received the phone call that my father was in the hospital. I emotionally knew he had passed away, because I felt a huge rock of grief sinking into my heart.
My father was an accomplished mechanical engineer who had developed 26 patents for laboratory equipment. Not only did he build a loving family and network of friends, he and my mother built Lab-Line Instruments, Inc, a successful laboratory instrument business. My father also was the building chairman and first president of West Suburban Har Zion Temple, in River Forest, IL and Gottlieb Memorial Hospital in Melrose Park, IL.
My father, was a Green Brainer, who was a voracious reader and thrived on solving problems. However, he also was Blue Brainer who loved poetry.
To father’s his memory and how he lived his live, I wanted to share his favorite poem, because is speaks to how he lived and constructed his life.
I stood on the streets of a busy town, Watching men tearing a building down.
With a ho, heave ho, and a lusty yell, They swung a beam – and a side wall fell!
I asked a foreman of the crew, “Are those men as skilled as those
You’d hire if you wanted to build?”
“Ah, no,” he said. “No, indeed, Just common labor is all I need.
I can tear down as much in a day or two As it would take skilled men a year to do.”
And then I thought as I went on my way, Just which of these two roles am I trying to play?
Have I walked life’s road – with care; Measuring each deed with rule and square,
Or am I one of those who roams the town, Content with the labor of – tearing down!
Do you live your life constructively?
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